How To Choose A Periodontist

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How To Choose A Periodontist For Gum Disease

Periodontists are dental specialists. They specialize in the surgical and non-surgical prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal or gum diseases and the placement of tooth implants. They also perform cosmetic oral plastic surgical procedures. As they are not general dentists, people who go for regular periodontal examinations or to treat particular symptoms of gum disease—visiting a quality periodontist should be part of one’s routine oral health care plan.

And it’s not just getting an opinion on gum disease—you should see the periodontist if you have heart or respiratory disease, diabetes, malnutrition, osteoporosis, or use tobacco as all can result in periodontal disease. Periodontists And Their Education and Certification Periodontists graduate from an accredited dental school with a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree after completing a four-year undergraduate college degree. It’s also required that they complete three to seven years of training in an American Dental Association (ADA)-accredited residency program in periodontology.

After successful residency training, these dentists are eligible to receive a national board certification by the American Board of Periodontology (ABP) after passing a comprehensive written and oral examination, which tests a dentist’s knowledge of the periodontal disease and its treatment. Periodontists are recertified every six years so that they fulfill continuing education requirements and demonstrate knowledge and competence in periodontics, Board-certified periodontists are called diplomates of the ABP.

After they are through with their specialization, periodontists work in hospitals, dental schools, state, national and international agencies, and the business sector. Some venture into research to test new therapies and study the relationships between systemic and periodontal and diseases. Types of Periodontal Procedures Non-surgical periodontal treatment At the onset of gum disease, treatments include scaling, deep cleanings, and root planning in which root surfaces are cleaned to remove calculus or tartar and plaque from periodontal pockets and to remove rough edges in the tooth root to get rid of bacterial toxins. Then, adjunctive therapy is done involving antimicrobials and antibiotics. In many cases of gingivitis, root planing, and scaling, i.e., proper daily brushing and flossing will produce a good result.

Dental implant placement

In this procedure, an artificial tooth root is affixed into your jaw. The tooth binds with the jawbone through the osseointegration process. After that, an artificial tooth is attached to the implant position. Periodontal Surgery Procedures Regeneration In this procedure, your periodontist folds back gum tissue to get rid of bacteria. Bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins, and filters or membranes are used to trigger your body’s ability to regenerate tissue and bone.

Pocket reduction

In pocket reduction, before securing the tissue in its place, the periodontist folds back gum tissue to expunge disease-causing bacteria. In some cases, irregular surfaces of damaged bone are evened out to decrease areas where bacteria can hide—allowing gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone more solidly.


Excess tissue is shed under local anesthesia, and after the gums heal within eight days, the teeth contours are restored. Periodontal Plastic Surgery Procedures Gingival sculpting (Crown lengthening) Excess bone and gum tissue are reshaped to let out more of the natural tooth. This procedure can be performed on your gum line, on one tooth, or several teeth to allow a broader smile.

Soft tissue grafting

In the procedure, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another source to overlay an exposed root. It can be performed on several teeth or one tooth to reduce sensitivity, and even off your gum line.

Ridge augmentation

This procedure is used to correct jawbone and gum indentations. It works by recapturing the natural outline of your jaws and gums—making an artificial tooth to show up as growing naturally out of the gum tissue.

What to Expect During Periodontal Visits

Your first periodontal visit will usually involve an evaluation as you will be asked about your medical and dental history. Mention your medical problems as many diseases can affect your gums and mouth. You also should share information related to the medicines you are taking including oral contraceptives as some medications can negatively affect your gums or have contraindications for antibiotics. For example, antihypertensive medication can result in dry mouth or xerostomia, which fasten decay and periodontal breakdown. If you smoke, you will have to quit—especially if you are undergoing gum surgery. Smoking can increase the risk of periodontal disease and delay the healing process.

The periodontist’s examination will also include the following:

TMJ or Jaw, neck, and head joints Throat and gums A periapical X-ray, which shows up the whole tooth from the top or crown to the end of the root in the jaw. It indicates the pattern and amount of bone loss around each tooth. An X-ray of your entire mouth may also be taken. Once the examination is done, your periodontist will come up with a treatment plan based on your individual needs and wants. After the treatment, you will be put under a periodontal maintenance program. Apart from daily at-home brushing and flossing and a proper oral hygiene regimen, this treatment plan will involve regular follow-up cleanings and examinations. For example, periodontists usually suggest visits every six months for deep cleaning if you have gingivitis. You may require visits every three months if you are diagnosed with more serious conditions.

Selecting A Periodontist

A good way to find a qualified periodontist is to seek a referral from your general dentist. The following points must be taken into account when selecting a periodontist. The number of practicing years of the periodontist Past and recent recertification and continuing education courses completed The diagnosis and proposed treatment plan of the periodontist’s. Ask about the pros and cons to treat the periodontal condition. Periodontists differ in treatment philosophies. Some focus on surgery, while others prefer non-surgical treatment alternatives. Understand why the periodontist is recommending a specific treatment and the proposed plan. The periodontist’s clinical and training experience in the specific procedure you need What’s the approximate cost of the single or multiple treatments? Does the periodontist accept your insurance? If dental insurance doesn’t cover treatment costs, does the periodontist offer in-house and third party financing?

The type of dental equipment used by the periodontist’s practice

Options for pain-relief and medication

Is the staff helpful and professional, and does the periodontist have a pleasant way when examining you? Is the dentist part of a multi-expertise dental group, which can offer one-stop oral health care? Or does he or she practice alone? It’s important to note that multi-specialty practices may not provide the best specialists for the specific procedures you require or provide referrals outside of the practice. What’s the quality of the periodontist’s referral network? Does the periodontist collaborate with other dental and medical professionals on your case? And do these accept insurance? In case restorations, which are laboratory-fabricated, are involved—does the periodontist takes responsibility for the quality of the outside technician or laboratory? Are the location and office hours convenient? Type of available emergency care

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